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Does retrieval-induced forgetting affect future social behavior?

Fernandes, Marcelle and Saunders, Jo (2013) Does retrieval-induced forgetting affect future social behavior? Acta Psychologica, 144 (1). pp. 1-5. ISSN 0001-6918

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The current paper presents an experiment examining the impact of retrieval-induced forgetting on a behavioral test. Participants first studied neutral and positive, or neutral and negative traits about a target and then practiced the neutral traits either via retrieval practice or re-presentation. Participants then were asked to take a seat outside the laboratory before recalling all the traits. Retrieval-induced forgetting was found in the retrieval practice but not the re-presentation condition for the valenced traits and also on the behavioral task with participants who suppressed positive traits choosing to sit further away from the target and participants who suppressed negative traits choosing to sit closer to the target. The findings indicate that retrieval-induced forgetting extends to behavioral tasks and affects the likely execution of a behavior. The findings are discussed in terms of the inhibitory theory of retrieval-induced forgetting.